What Are These Rules of Which You Speak?

I am flummoxed. Yes, flummoxed, by a comment I received last week on this post.

Almost as befuddled as Shiva as she wonders why I am taking so long to put on my coat

Almost as befuddled as Shiva as she wonders why I am taking so long to put on my coat

If you scroll down to the bottom, Jobi, of the terrific Ask-Fisher.com, shared some of the things that have been stressing her out about writing online. I hope she doesn’t mind me bringing this up as it was a perfectly wonderful comment and I am touched she took the time out of her busy day to write it. If she does mind, I am sincerely sorry. I guess if you comment on this site you have to be prepared that one day, I might make it more public than it already is.

But I digress.

The lovely, wonderful comment about which I am speaking and for which I am excessively grateful made mention of the “rules of blogging.” I will allow this to sink in for a moment in the event you are as bemused as I.

Rules.

Of blogging.

Um, am I missing something?

Other than not stealing content and not being an asshat in the comment sections of other blogs, I wasn’t aware there were any “rules.” Besides, neither of those two simple tenets are generally followed, anyway. This is the Internet, right? If creepy Men’s Rights Activists are allowed to post their terrifying diatribes I don’t see why there are any limits at all. Maybe they are more like guidelines?

It would seem I am wrong. A quick search came up with a multitude of rules. Everyone has an opinion, it seems, on what is “good” blogging and what is “bad” blogging. For instance, according to Writer Tank one should never publish a post immediately after writing it. Well, if I never did that I probably would never have written more than a week’s worth of posts. Cuff me, officer. Cristian Mihai, on the other hand, thinks one should “blog often enough, but not too often” – whatever that means – and “use as many social media platforms as possible.” Right, so… None? That’s pretty much what is possible for me at the moment.

I am not being fair. Both of the articles I shared above make excellent points and I am sure they have been helpful for many people seeking their advice. My issue is actually related to semantics. The word “rule” being used to apply to something I do in my spare time, for free, because I enjoy it.

In my world, I relate much more to this post by Ashley Robinson. She encourages the breaking of all the “rules”. Go ahead treat your blog like a business, be a professional, hit up Google + as often as possible, if this is all stuff you want to do to reach a goal you may have. Do it for its own sake; don’t do it because it is how a blogger is “supposed” to behave. I reckon it doesn’t matter if I fill an entire website with things I ate for lunch as long as it pleases me. One day I may just turn my dog blog into a, I don’t know, a blog about monster trucks.

It could happen. Don’t put it past me.

We all have different ideas of what makes a good blog and different reasons for the time we spend online. The only rules that should exist, other than laws against stealing and harassment, are the ones we create for ourselves. The rest just don’t matter.

That’s right I said don’t. But now I am going to adhere to one of the annoying guidelines and end this post with a question. Do you think there are rules to blogging that everyone should follow?

13 thoughts on “What Are These Rules of Which You Speak?

  1. Um, no. Rules is definitely the wrong word. People may have suggestions – things that work for some but may not work for others – but I think they’re misusing the term “rule”.

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  2. I thing there are few “guidelines” for business blogs and blogs for companies etc. (the mostly advised might be the “don’t make your post too long” and “stay with the same theme” advises). But I don’t think there are any “rules” for normal people who are making blogs just for fun. Of course, if your goal is to get lot of followers and comments then it’s wise to at least look at those suggestions of “how to make a good blog post” and advertise your blog in many places.

    -Lilli-

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  3. If everything was the same it would get rather boring, right? Blogging is ‘blogging’ because it’s personal. There shouldn’t be any rules. I look at a lot of blogs for my job and have noticed the people who try and do something a little different are more popular because they blog about what is important to them, when the want and it really reflects in their writing. I follow some blogs who only post once a month, but I can’t WAIT for their posts because they’re not just posting for postings sake. Agree with Lilli- for businesses it’s different, but for personal blogs all of the rules can go out of the window.

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  4. Amen! Keep preaching.

    Some people find rules helpful constraints. But lots of people find that worrying about the rules takes all the fun away from the process. And that’s horrible.

    I used to teach journal writing workshops. And one of the things I found was that people had all kinds of rules for WRITING IN THEIR JOURNALS! Heck, it’s a personal document you’re writing for yourself. Where do rules come in?

    Once I showed people that they could draw in their journals, write that they didn’t know what to write, write with their non-dominant hands, and paste pictures into them, it was amazing how free they became. And how much fun journaling became for them.

    Blogging can be used to promote a business. It can be a way of bringing attention to a cause. But for many of us, it’s a form of creative expression, a way to meet like-minded people, and a way to compare ideas. And those uses are just as valid as anything “business-y.”

    So keep questioning the “rules” Kristine. You’re saying what lots of people need to hear.

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  5. Personally I hate rules, and I really hate being told what to do. Ours blogs are our space do with what we will. If people don’t like what you say, or I say, they are free to go some place else. Creative writing is just that. And creativity can’t be held to rules.

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  6. I don’t think there should be any rules per se – if someone doesn’t like a blog – they don’t need to read it – who is right in deciding if it is to long or short – or if the subject is worth reading about. Only the author. Any other comments are just people opinions and then you have to determine who’s opinion is correct?
    By the way – I like the new layout.

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  7. If I had to follow rules for my Poodle (and dog) blog, I would not be writing it for all these years. When I have to follow rules, it becomes a job, not a fun pastime.

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  8. The blog redesign is gorgeous! So clean and crisp!
    I like having guidelines, a template to follow if I want (love the themed days, Wordless Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, etc.,) but rules just make it sound like a chore!

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  9. Hellz to the no! What works for one isn’t guaranteed to work for anyone else and above all, you need to be true to yourself and your idea of what your blog is. If that means marketing or reviews or story telling or pictures or whatever speaks to you, then that’s your rule and you run with it. That’s what readers want: authenticity.

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  10. First of all, I love your new layout! I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with my new blog — which is why I haven’t switched from free WordPress yet.

    As for rules? The only rule I follow is my own, which is there are no rules. This is MY blog. It’s MY journal of MY life with MY dogs. I appreciate my readers/followers and their comments — and advice — but I don’t check the stats except when they happen to be right there in front of me. I might borrow an idea from a fellow pet blogger, but I wouldn’t steal their content. If I see a blog post I think my friends would enjoy, I ask permission of its author to reblog it with appropriate credit. But that’s just my personal ethics.
    .

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  11. Nope. There are no rules for blogging in my book. AND, (did you see how I did that? Never start a sentence with and…) I like it. I swear on my blog, I post what I want on my blog AND I like it that way. It will probably never be a run away hit, but I have a lovely group of people I consider my friends AND that’s the way it is!

    You go Kristine!!

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